THE point is no good for either side. With St Johnstone winning at home to Livingston, the draw at the Kilmac Stadium left Dundee cut further adrift at the bottom of the Premiership and Aberdeen hovering dangerously close to 11th.

Aberdeen were twice ahead, through smart finishes from Calvin Ramsay and Ross McCrorie, but Dundee twice levelled – through Jordan McGhee and Danny Mullen – via the aid of two free-kicks from second-half substitute Charlie Adam.

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Manager Mark McGhee revealed that he wasn’t sure his club captain would recover in time to play any part. "Charlie was ill last weekend, he had gastroenteritis,” said McGhee. “He took himself to the hospital at one point. He'd had an injury before that and hadn't trained.

“So I didn't really hold any hope that he was going to take any part today. But he came to see me, he wanted to be part of it. Which shows great attitude.

“And we did get him on for as long as it was probably right to because he only trained on Friday and he didn't do a lot – a fantastic contribution from him, and it's not a surprise.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin, meanwhile, rued his side’s inability to defend set-pieces.

“We don’t deal with the cross into the box [for Dundee’s first goal],” he said. “We know the quality Charlie has but we don’t deal with it.

“The second one is the same. Charlie takes the nudge from Marley Watkins and goes over easily - but again puts in fantastic delivery.”

What the game lacked in quality passages of play it made up for in endeavour and entertainment. After a bright start, Dundee began to struggle and Aberdeen started to pepper their goal with long-range efforts.

Ramsay had, on 35 minutes, cut in from the right and aimed a left-footed strike at goal from 20 yards. Ian Lawlor saved it but was helpless when the same player did the same six minutes later. This time the Scotland under-21 international kept the ball low, leaving the keeper helpless.

Dundee worked their way into excellent areas throughout the first half, but the final ball was always lacking. They did manage to hit the woodwork themselves when Mullen – the sole change to the line-up – saw his effort clip the top of the bar.

Before that Connor McLennan had struck the underside of the bar from the corner of the box after cutting in from the left. From the resulting corner David Bates’s header forced Lawlor point-blank save.

The second half took much longer to get going, and not before there was movement on the benches. Marley Watkins had replaced McLennan but it was the introduction of Adam who swung the match.

On 62 minutes, three minutes after taking to the field, he aimed a deep free-kick to the back post which was met and forced in by McGhee under heavy pressure from the Aberdeen defence.

A scrappy period ensued as both sides struggled to find any rhythm before a frantic final stage, kicked off by McCrorie’s goal on 82 minutes. He collected the ball in the box during the second phase of a corner before sending a low shot across the keeper, sparking raucous celebrations in front of the healthy travelling support.

With Dundee huffing and puffing, it looked to be the winner, but Adam stepped up once again, this time with a deep set-piece from the other side of the field, which was poorly defended by and nodded in by Mullen. It was the 27-year-old’s sixth goal of the season.

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The striker isn’t the most prolific but has a knack of finding the net at important times. If Dundee are to somehow survive, they can again look to him as playing a key role.

Hayes was denied by another decent stop from Lawlor before the keeper denied Watkins with his foot in the final minute.

Despite failing to win and sitting just six points ahead of 11th place, Aberdeen retain the chance of making it into the top six in their final pre-split fixture next week. “The one positive is that we are still in it, albeit we are relying on Hibs not winning,” said Goodwin.

“We need to beat Ross County and then we have a chance of top six, but Malky Mackay will be saying the same thing."